Germin, a protein marker of early plant development, is an oxalate oxidase
Lane, B. G., Dunwell, J. M., Ray, J. A., Schmitt, M. R. and Cuming, A. C. (1993) Germin, a protein marker of early plant development, is an oxalate oxidase. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 268 (17). pp. 12239-12242. ISSN 1083-351X
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Official URL: http://www.jbc.org/content/268/17/12239.abstract
Germin is a homopentameric glycoprotein, the synthesis of which coincides with the onset of growth in germinating wheat embryos. There have been detailed studies of germin structure, biosynthesis, homology with other proteins, and of its value as a marker of wheat development. Germin isoforms associated with the apoplast have been speculated to have a role in embryo hydration during maturation and germination. Antigenically related isoforms of germin are present during germination in all of the economically important cereals studied, and the amounts of germin-like proteins and coding elements have been found to undergo conspicuous change when salt-tolerant higher plants are subjected to salt stress. In this report, we describe how circumstantial evidence arising from unrelated studies of barley oxalate oxidase and its coding elements have led to definitive evidence that the germin isoform made during wheat germination is an oxalate oxidase. Establishment of links between oxalate degradation, cereal germination, and salt tolerance has significant implications for a broad range of studies related to development and adaptation in higher plants. Roles for germin in cell wall biochemistry and tissue remodeling are discussed, with special emphasis on the generation of hydrogen peroxide during germin-induced oxidation of oxalate.